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Recovery in bodybuilding

Recovery in bodybuilding


When the aim is simply to relax and feel good, sporting activities can be summed up as simple training sessions. In this case, the quest for performance is not the objective, and it is of little importance to master parameters other than the techniques of the discipline practised.

When sports practice becomes more serious and the notion of performance comes into play, the need to master parameters other than training will emerge.

La récupération en musculation

Bodybuilding, like many other disciplines, requires a great deal of training in order to stimulate the body and encourage it to respond to this stimulation by adapting.

This adaptation translates into an increase in muscle mass to support future workloads. To achieve this, we need to create an anabolic environment, which will be put in place by taking three elements into account.

Principles of bodybuilding

The first is training. Intense, regular training that progressively overloads the muscles will be conducive to creating the need for muscle adaptation and, consequently, growth.

The second is nutrition or the muscular diet. A high-protein diet provides muscle fibres with the materials they need to rebuild and grow. Good quality, low glycemic index carbohydrates to provide energy over time. This helps sustain intense sessions. High-quality lipids, mainly from vegetable oils, which contribute to the proper functioning of the hormonal system, essential for efficient anabolism.

The third element, and by no means the least important, is rest. Not rest between sets, but rest after and between sessions. This often-neglected moment is nonetheless inseparable from the other two.

the importance of recovery

Lack of rest, particularly sleep, can be a factor limiting muscle growth and therefore progress. It's important to know that it's during the sleep phase that the secretion of hormones responsible for cell and fiber repair and growth is at its highest. Growth hormone and testosterone are the anabolic hormones par excellence.

Recovery begins as soon as the training session is over. During exercise, the body uses energy reserves to power the muscles. These energy reserves are mainly carbohydrates. Lipids are used for long-duration endurance efforts. This is not the type of effort we find in bodybuilding, which is more high-intensity and short-duration.

loaded training also breaks down muscle fibres, creating a greater need for protein to repair and strengthen them.

In order to optimize recovery, it is therefore very important to provide a meal consisting of fast carbohydrates and protein in the minutes following the end of the session. The carbohydrates will replenish muscle glycogen stores, while the proteins will help repair muscle fibres damaged during the session.

An hour to an hour and a half after this post-workout meal, another meal should be taken in which slow carbohydrates and proteins in solid form should be consumed. It should also include lipids, as lipids are the source of the body's anabolic hormones. These hormones are responsible for muscle growth.

The role of sleep

the importance of sleep in recovery should not be overlooked. In fact, it's during sleep that the body releases the anabolic hormones growth hormone and testosterone. In fact, it's under the release of the former that the latter is released via chemical factors.

These two hormones enable cells and tissues to regenerate and muscle fibers to grow and strengthen.


It's advisable for athletes, and even more so for bodybuilders, to get at least 8 hours' sleep a night, and even a few minutes' nap. It's during the first few hours of sleep that the growth hormone is at its highest.

Often neglected, recovery is a limiting factor in the quest for results. As mentioned above, recovery relies on different aspects, both nutritional and biological, so don't miss any more of your sessions for lack of rest, and don't mortgage your chances of growth through neglect.

Train hard, eat properly and RECOVER

Author Alexandre CARPENTIER

Bodybuilding Champion N.A.C 2012

Alexandre shares his experience of bodybuilding with MegaGear blog readers